I was browsing around the games I could watch today with the goal of finding a game with a possibly interesting young player. I stumbled on a bunch of German 2. Bundesliga games and I decided to check the team-list of 1860 München where I found a player named KEVIN VOLLAND, a name which I had definitely seen somewhere before.
When I looked further into it, I found that this is a young player born in 1992 who might become one of the next players to come out of Germany’s seemingly endless production line of great young players.
He received bronze Fritz Walter Medal in the under-19 class which is a special award given out to Germany’s best youngsters. Ahead of him were Mönchengladbach’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Matthias Zimmermann.
Volland is a striker who has been with 1860 München for a long time, but in the summer of 2010 Hoffenheim bought the rights for him for a sum which Transfermarkt quotes to be 600 000 euros. However he was sent back on loan to 1860 München for two seasons.
He has represented Germany’s youth teams from the level of under 17 to under 20-s but he has really made an impact at the start of this season, already beating his tally of 6 goals in 24 games in 2. Bundesliga by hitting 9 in 19 with half of this season ahead.
One Game Report on Kevin Volland
Name: Kevin Volland
Date of Birth: 30.07.1992 (age 19)
Heigth: 179 cm
Current Club: on loan to 1860 München (owned by Hoffenheim, contract until 30.06.2015 according to Transfermarkt.co.uk)
National Team: capped for U20, U19, U18 and U17 national teams
Basic Playing Information:
Position: Striker / Forward
Preferred Foot: Left
Statistics Of Last 3 Seasons (according to Transfermarkt.co.uk):
2011/2012: 1860 München / Germany U20 – 23 games, 11 goals, 8 assists, 5 yellow cards, 1778 minutes played
2010/2011*: 1860 München / 1860 München II / Germany U19 – 44 games, 16 goals, 4 assists, 5 yellow cards, 2458 minutes played
2009/2010*: 1860 München / Germany U17 / Germany U18 – 10 games, 6 goals, 558 minutes played
* – club level youth games not counted
Game Watched To Make The Report:
Karlsruher – 1860 München 1:3 (2. Bundesliga, 17.12.2011)
Volland was used in a 4-4-2 formation, partnered upfront with Benjamin Lauth. He played full 90 minutes.
The match was not particularly good viewing. The tempo was poor, both teams building from the back and attacking without too many risks taken. The technical qualities of the players on show were far from perfect.
However 1860 München won quite deservedly as they were the better side. Their last goal was born from a penalty kick which Volland earned.
Performance of Volland:
Having not seen Volland play previously, I expected him to be quite similar in style to Mario Götze and to an extent it was quite like this.
However he is slightly different as he seemed to be much more of a typical forward when it came to the area in which he played, this of course is something what his statistics and starting position suggested anyway.
I could understand Hoffenheim’s decision to let him stay in 1860 München for another season (they had chance to bring him back from what I understand). There is still a lot for him to learn and 2. Bundesliga is good level to do it.
The potential to be ready for a level higher than that as soon as next season seems clear as I felt that he is one of those players that the better players you surround him with, the better he plays. Basically when he is one of the stars of the current team, he’d still be one of the best in the side if you’d get some very good players in.
However his performance in the particular match wasn’t really as eye-catching as I hoped but in my opinion, he does have more in himself than he did in that game. Mind you, my expectations were very high. If I rated him simply against other players on the pitch then he did fine.
Within minutes of watching the game I liked what I saw from him. He was running hard even without the ball and although at times showed to be bit tired, managed to keep it going for full 90 minutes.
There was a lot of youthful energy in his game and the light feet you expect to see from a young forward of his size.
He is no Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to speed but he looked faster than most other players on the pitch. Quite short and frequent steps, good explosion.
Needs more strength and/or cleverness
He is quick, but there is a need to improve on the physical side when it comes to strength. When defenders were living on his back, he didn’t look comfortable and lost a ball few times when defender came in with a strong challenge while he was trying to control the ball.
But I feel this is more down to lack of experience than simple matter of strength. He needs to learn how to position his body so that the defenders can’t get to the ball and also learn how to get the ball under control in situations where you’re going to get challenged from behind. The very best strikers, who are often similar build to him, aren’t as big as the defenders who are giving them a hard time, but usually they come out of those situations with the ball.
He did succeed at controlling the ball on a couple of such occasions, but I think they were more down to luck than him knowing how he should position his body.
Good technical side
Technical side of his game seemed quite solid especially for his age and his poor passes or poor ball controls seemed to be isolated incidents which will become fewer as the games played count rises.
What I mean by isolated incidents is that although he made some bad passes, he did some very good ones too in similar situations, meaning that the ability to do good stuff is there, just needs experience to learn how to assess the situations he is in a bit better.
Three of my favorite passes were a one-two he did in midfield before bursting into the box to earn a penalty, a great pass between two players when he was under a lot of pressure in midfield and one lovely back-heeled pass to a free team-mate on the edge of the area.
He mainly uses his left foot, but I saw him be quite comfortable when the ball is on the right foot too. First touch was good but needs to improve in situations where he is under pressure. Ball control at speed was neither bad or perfect.
I cannot rate his long-range passing based on this game since there weren’t any but short-term passing seemed to be good. As for headers, I only saw him head the ball once but that was a decent header in midfield which he aimed at his fellow team-mate and it got there perfectly.
I also saw him making two very lovely quick turns on the ball which left the opponent defenders flat-footed.
Main issue comes from little experience
Good technical quality, energy and quick feet are there but it might take a couple of years before he can actually become a high-scoring forward in Bundesliga.
His awareness and decision-making is something that needs to improve. He does seem to think a lot “tactically” when he does not have the ball, but with the ball he doesn’t seem to have the full picture of the pitch in his head.
He leaves himself too open for challenges, like for example in the situation he earned a penalty, if he had moved the ball slightly away from goal he could’ve used his pace to get away from the defender challenging him and then possibly rounded the goalkeeper or have a shot immediately. He seemed to be very concentrated on the net and didn’t notice the defender coming, luckily for him the defender was a bit late.
Also I saw a few passes where he could’ve thought them through a bit better, one was particularly bad as he was completely free in midfield but made a weak, predictable pass which was easily cut out.
It’s not all bad vision and decisions though as every other time he does manage to spot some open team-mates in difficult situations and make quick decisions.
What level might he reach:
From that one game it is hard to judge but I think if he has the right coaches and the right personality he can become one of the better forwards of his generation in the game, something which he has proven with great record in youth level.
He looks to me like a player who, if he continues to develop to the level I predicted above, would be able to play to very well in any league he goes to because he seems to have quite universal characters.
I think it will be clearer when he goes back to Hoffenheim next summer (this is assuming Hoffenheim want him for next season) and plays a bit in the Bundesliga.
If I had to pay 10 million euros rating: N/A – has only played in lower level competitions
At this moment I would assume 5 million would be the honest price tag I’d give him. He hasn’t at a higher level than 2. Bundesliga so I’d prefer not to give him a low rating just because of that.
Talent rating: 8/10